Our responsibility includes everyone in the IKEA value chain: IKEA co-workers, co-workers at our business partners and people working in other parts of our value-chain, our customers and all the families of these people, as well as the communities where we operate. This is a large undertaking – but also an opportunity – to contribute to positive change. While growing our business to reach more of the many, we have to play our part in ensuring that people across our value chain can thrive and provide a good life for themselves and their families. Our business is built by people, and to thrive as an organisation we must ensure their well-being and that no one is left behind.
We do this by taking our full responsibility as a business to respect human rights and ensure ethical business practices, providing and supporting decent and meaningful work across the IKEA value chain, and further developing into an equal, diverse and inclusive business. This will be based on a solid understanding of our social footprint.
In addition, we use our voice to advocate for a more fair and equal society, in line with our commitments and in collaboration with policymakers and external partners.
We are committed to:
Being a responsible business and contributing to resilient societies
We are committed to respecting human rights and children’s rights by operationalizing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, ensuring we address our most critical human rights risks and impacts across our value chain.
We also ensure that we follow ethical business practices, including combatting corruption, securing ethical data handling and digital technology, complying with both the letter and the spirit of the law when it comes to corporate tax policies, and being transparent about taxes paid.
In addition, we must secure a strong approach in relation to the climate, health, political and social justice crises of our time, to secure the safety, livelihoods and resilience of our co-workers and partners across our value chain.
Advocating for mandatory human rights due diligence
IKEA and 11 other companies – all members of the Nordic Business Network for Human Rights – signed a statement supporting and encouraging European Union (EU) legislation on mandatory human rights due diligence for all businesses operating in the EU. These regulations can improve human rights throughout global value chains, including for workers and communities in developing countries.
Respecting children’s rights at every step
What are the rights of a child? What are the responsibilities of a company? Is it only about avoiding child labour? We talked to Alinde Melin, the Global Human Rights and Children’s Rights Leader at IKEA, about what children’s rights are and why IKEA is focused on ensuring that all its business decisions promote the best interests of children.
Providing and supporting decent and meaningful work across the IKEA value chain
We are committed to providing and supporting living wages and income* in IKEA operations, among our business partners and in the wider sectors of which we are a part.
We are committed to providing and supporting everyone in the IKEA value chain to make sure they have access to safe and healthy work, labour rights and social protection, as well as securing stable and predictable work. Included in this is securing a just transition to a net-zero and circular economy.
We are also committed to providing and supporting that everyone in the IKEA value chain is empowered to play an active role in their work and is recruited in a responsible way.
* Responsible Wage Practices is an IKEA programme and related framework and methodology which takes a holistic approach to the subject of wages by placing equal focus on equality at work, pay principles, competence, dialogue and living wage.
New global framework and assessment methodology ready for rollout
The IKEA Responsible Wage Practices Framework and Assessment Methodology was completed in FY21. This framework and methodology take a holistic approach to the subject of wages by placing equal focus on equality at work, pay principles, competence, enabling dialogue, and a living wage. It will create a wage system that’s fair, inclusive and for the many. Our aim is to enable people and families in the IKEA value chain to live a decent life, wherever they are. This new assessment methodology was adjusted and finalised after an extensive validation exercise in spring 2021, spanning 65 units in 22 countries and four continents.
Being an equal, diverse and inclusive business
IKEA is committed to embracing all dimensions of human diversity and reflecting the demographics of the societies in which we operate. We actively work to prevent discrimination and ensure equality in opportunity and treatment.
One important part is creating accessible and inclusive workplaces, where people can be themselves at work and everyone’s voice is heard. Another is being a child friendly business, with focus on securing child safeguarding, family-friendly practices and inclusion and empowerment of children and youth.
We strive to develop an inclusive and socially impactful offer that mirrors the needs of society and reaches as many people as possible. To do this, we must also secure a more inclusive and diverse IKEA value chain by integrating social businesses, minority owned enterprises and small and medium sized enterprises.
Improving gender balance
We continue to promote gender equality in our operations through new and existing initiatives on both global and market levels. We’re committed to building a gender balanced business that offers equal opportunities to all co-workers. We have inclusion approaches that help us create work environments that are safe and welcoming for all people.
Expanding our work with social entrepreneurs
IKEA partners with social businesses to create global products that create job opportunities for those who need it most. We also run programmes and make investments that support social entrepreneurs around the world.
Inequality on the rise
The world economy has grown exponentially over the past hundred years, contributing to the largest reduction of poverty in the history of humanity. At the same time, there is also an ever-increasing level of inequality and social instability, with vast numbers of people being left behind.
Global challenges such as pandemics, climate change, biodiversity loss and geopolitical conflicts continue to accelerate inequality, hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. The transition to a net-zero economy brings additional challenges for livelihoods and human rights, as industries must drastically change, while the impacts of climate change are set to cause widespread disruption that will disproportionally affect vulnerable communities.
Businesses, like IKEA, have a huge opportunity and responsibility to work alongside governments to build resilient societies in which everyone’s rights are respected, basic needs are met, and equal opportunities are available for all.
Building a better business with IWAY
IWAY is the IKEA way for responsibly procuring products, services, materials, and components. It’s our supplier code of conduct that sets clear requirements and ways of working with environmental, social, and working conditions, as well as animal welfare, for all IKEA suppliers and service providers.